BRISK SINGING (1997)
Richard Alston Dance Company
Jean-Philippe Rameau music from Les Boréades (1764)
Originally danced by a cast of
4 women 4 men
Filmed, edited and produced by The Place.
Brisk Singing is first and foremost a joyful response to the brilliance of Jean-Philippe Rameau. Known in his own time as ‘le dieu de la dance’, Rameau’s flow of lyricism, made edgy with wonderfully odd phrasing and urgent rhythm, speaks to dancers. I purposefully chose not just music written for set dances (of which there are plenty) but also choruses, recitatives and arias, all coursing with dance rhythm.
The section I've chosen for the video, Chantez le Dieu, is very much a precursor of Isthmus - the same mixture of a wild and spatially free energy pinned down with moments of clarity. It's something that runs through most of my work but these are two clear examples.
First performed by the Richard Alston Dance Company at the Gardiner Arts Centre, Brighton on 22 October 1997.